Napier Girls' High School - 30/05/2018

School Context

Napier Girls’ High School has students from Years 9 to 13. The roll of 1024 has steadily grown over recent years and includes 24% Māori students and 2% of Pacific heritage.

The school’s shared vision for students is: Inspiration from the past, learning, contributing and empowering for today and tomorrow.

The overarching student achievement goal is that: Every student realises her highest academic potential and is equipped with essential skills and values for life beyond school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement and progress in literacy and numeracy, using school-based assessments for Years 9 and 10

  • achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs), and in relation to school leaver qualifications and destinations

  • wellbeing.

The school is one of the oldest in New Zealand for girls. It celebrates its traditions and values. The school boarding hostel, Hewett House, is part of the main campus and accommodates 170 students.

The school has been a member of Mataruahou Napier City Kāhui Ako for the past three years.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is highly focused on achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. Consistently high levels of student success and retention at school beyond the age of 17 have been sustained and increased over time.

Nearly all students leave the school having gained at least NCEA Level 2, with most achieving Level 3 and many meeting University Entrance requirements. Māori and Pacific students achieve well. In 2017, the school increased the number of NCEAs endorsed for merit or excellence, and successes in New Zealand Scholarship awards.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school positions students to achieve well in national qualifications. It effectively accelerates learning for those students who need it.

Most of those Māori, Pacific and other students who enter the school with achievement below expectations, make accelerated progress.

Assessment data tracked over time, shows that students below national expectations on entry to Year 9 leave the school with at least NCEA Level 2, and many with Level 3.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has responsive practices and processes for achievement of equity, excellence and acceleration of learning.

The school is well governed and managed. Trustees provide effective stewardship, are well informed, experienced and fully understand their board roles and responsibilities. Strategic direction focuses clearly on improving outcomes for learners. Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. Planning, coordination and review of curriculum and teaching successfully continues to improve outcomes. Students, parents, whānau and the community are actively involved in learning-centred relationships at all levels. Increased communication and opportunities for parents to contribute to developments and decision making have strengthened partnerships.

Sustaining and improving student wellbeing is a strategic priority. Pastoral care is well considered, comprehensive, responsive, and supports students to be successful learners. Positive and respectful relationships are clearly evident. Teachers know students well. Shared values, traditions and desired outcomes create a sense of belonging and connection. Teachers increasingly gather and use students’ voice, and encourage students’ contribution to decision making. Students have a range of leadership opportunities.

A personalised learning approach to curriculum, through modified course organisation and content, is increasingly responsive to students’ needs. Innovative and creative teaching practices and curriculum design promote initiative and tailor learning to the individual. Strong curriculum pathways support academic success and transition to further education. Curriculum leaders have extended the range of courses to cater for the increasingly diverse needs of all students. Practicallybased, vocational subjects strengthen pathways to employment or training.

Students with additional learning needs are identified and well catered for through programmes, interventions and specific resourcing. They have appropriate and individualised guidance. Planning for them is undertaken in collaboration with parents and whānau. This supports these students’ engagement and their pathways through and beyond the school.

Useful information about students’ achievement and progress in Years 9 and 10 is gathered from nationally standardised and school-based tests. Good collaboration and communication with contributing schools provides information to identify students entering the high school who need support to progress and achieve, and to plan responsive programmes and interventions. Teachers track and monitor individual students’ academic performance over time.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders and trustees set goals to improve already high NCEA achievement. The goals aspire to achieve and sustain equity and excellence for all, including Māori and Pacific students. Purposeful, increasingly responsive professional learning supports teachers to enhance their practice and effectiveness. Appraisal is more robust and useful. Staff continue to strengthen use of information to show progress for specific groups and those whose learning needs acceleration, particularly in literacy and numeracy. Setting targets that are more specific and focused on accelerating the learning of groups of students, should support monitoring and evaluation of teacher effectiveness and progress toward achieving the school’s goals.

The school is strengthening its response to the academic and cultural needs of Māori learners. Strategies to further build staff capability, partnerships with parents and community, and integration of te ao Māori into the curriculum and environment, should support increased success for students.

Initiatives that focus on listening to student voice and strengthening relationships with the community have raised awareness of Pacific students’ cultural and learning needs. Strategies are in place to strengthen the school’s response.

Curriculum review is collaborative and well considered. Changes lead to improved outcomes for learners. Leaders are encouraging and developing a culture of deeper inquiry by all staff. A next step is to further refine the process to be more evaluative, to clearly determine the impacts of specific actions, programme and interventions on improving outcomes.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Hewett House, can accommodate 175 students, around 20% of the roll. At the time of this review it catered for 169 girls from across Hawke’s Bay and the wider North Island.

Trustees have attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. The principal and the hostel manager are responsible for day-to-day hostel operation on behalf of the board of trustees.

The hostel provides suitable accommodation for full time and weekly boarders from Years 9 to 13. Good provision is made for individual and supervised study. Hostel practices complement and support pastoral care and learning in the school. Building positive relationships is a strong focus. Staff provide pastoral care in an environment that successfully promotes student wellbeing and upholds school traditions and values. Routines and expectations are well understood. Students have opportunities to participate in a range of school activities and sports.

Hostel managers respond to feedback about hostel processes and relationships. This is encouraged and regularly sought from boarders and their parents.

Provision for international students

The college is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with and meets all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there are 31 international students from Asia and Europe.

Processes for orientation to the school are well considered. Systems to identify and respond to individual needs and interests are effective. Care is taken to provide courses that respond to interests and aspirations of students and their families. Those students who set goals for academic achievement experience success in the NCEAs that supports their transition to higher education.

International students’ welfare is well supported. They benefit from the inclusive environment of the school, and participate in a range of activities within school and in the wider community. Students have opportunities to share their cultures with others.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • curriculum pathways, practices and processes that are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence

  • pastoral care that is comprehensive, well considered and responsive, promotes students’ wellbeing and supports them to be successful learners

  • partnerships that are respectful, learning centred, and contribute to a positive school environment.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • further refining internal evaluation processes
  • continuing to strengthen the school’s responses to the cultural needs of Māori and Pacific students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 May 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9-13)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 74%
Māori 24%
Pacific 2%

International Students


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

30 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014
Education Review July 2009
Education Review November 2005